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effects with a cardboard replica of the president. that is the best new diplomatic thing in the world today. . the gift that keeps on giving. let's play "hardball." good evening i'm chris matthews in los angeles. let me start tonight with this. we know how mitt romney is without a script the words that come in to his head like the 47% stuff that came out in may is bad. his default switch says blame the little guy, call him a parasite. gifts, that's what the little guy wants. the older person, the hard up youth, pay up, scratch, cross their palms and they will pull the lever for you. cash and carry.
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smart conservatives know this is no way to treat a potential voter. it was put this way in the "new york post." romney didn't say the election came out as it did because obama's team outplayed and outfoxed his. he should have because that's the truth. he said obama won the second term through essentially bribery. i have three rules for both parties as they converge to do their jobs. respect the vote are. respect each other's offices and search hard for common ground. that's what we should be doing and guiding our country's conversation. not trashing the people who voted against you but respecting the fact that they did for your own good. washington bureau chief from mother jones and our political analyst. let's take a look at some of this stuff from john mccain. four years since john mccain lost his presidential bid, ten days since mitt romney lost but they are holding a grudge
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against the president and their bitter comments this week. listen to romney's conference calm about obama's gifts and mccain's gifts about obama ally susan rice. >> what the president, the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extra financial gift from the government and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote. >> susan rice should have known better and if she didn't know better she's not qualified. she should have known better. i will do everything in my power to block her from being the united states secretary of state. >> let's go after romney first in a way that he's calculating how he lost. you can give all kinds of reasons when you lose. when you spout the argument that the other guy bought all the interest groups, that seems to diminish not just the purchaser but the purchase.
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you're basically saying these people are up for grabs. you'll never get them again. >> exactly. talking about more than half the voting public as bribery victims or being duped. it's ridiculous and insulting. precisely to some of the grownups that republicans need to do better with. latinos were outraged. african-americans were outraged. what they are basically arguing is government is nothing more than a transaction of government giving you things in exchange for votes. it's an understanding of government that to me renders him unfit to be the leader of the united states government if that's what he think government comes down to. the things he was describing that the obama administration did, that is called governing. >> yeah. let's go to david. why would he use words like this. this is the way he thinks unless he's being scripted. this was unscripted. this is the pure romney. >> chris, i was the first guy in
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the media to see the 47% remark and when i saw it i couldn't believe it. maybe there was a slight chance that maybe he was saying to it play up to that crowd, that's what they wanted to hear. now when we hear him talk about voters he didn't just say he was bought off, that obama won their votes through bribery. he said i ran a campaign of big ideas. so they are the moochers, they are victims who will pay them the most. in the end what happens, mitt romney portrays himself as a victim of the victims. so just confirms all the worst impressions from the 47% rant and now you have republicans running away from him and basically saying hey don't let the car elevator door hit you on the way out. >> let me go to one thoughtful conservative. who i usually agree with. he's a smart guy. he writes for "the weekly
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standard." it seems to me that he has a pretty good point. he says romney's whole campaign was aimed at what he called entrepreneurs, job creators, titans. if you ignore all the people who work for a living, work 400 or whatever, do their jobs. most people are like that. he said if you live in your party simply to people who see themselves as, you know, titans of industry you're going to have a very, very small notion of america. very small electorate working for you. >> this was basically a candidate of the boss and he left basically everyone else to the president, to barack obama. i think if you're going to be the party of just the boss you have to presume a, everyone loves and endorse their boss and vote for a guy who boils down to being nothing more than a ceo or limit yourself only to the rich or only to people who are not just wealthy but they feel like
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they are the victims in society. they are actually being put upon by the moochers and everyone else who isn't as good as they are, who doesn't deserve the things they are getting from government. what romney forgets is some of the people who receive from government include his own base. you're talking about seniors who are the largest recipients of government, of government programs so he left off so many people and showed such disdain that it's no wonder he couldn't get a majority of votes. >> let's go through some of the people what he said. i think you're right david they should have known what they were dealing with long before election returns came in. people like to be with win thor, right, left, center. so now you tell us more republicans are backing away from romney's gift language like new mexico governor who said that unfortunately is what sets us back as a party. our comments that are not thought through carefully or marco rubio who told politico i don't want to rebut him point by
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point but i want to say to you we have millions of people in this country that don't want to work. i'm not saying that's what he said. i think we have millions of people that are out of work and dependent on the government because they can't find a job. and chris christie had this to say on "morning joe" just today. >> i voted for mitt romney, but the bottom line is we lost so now what we need to do as leaders of our party is pivot and get back to our jobs. if we do our jobs well people will put us back into office. >> is it time for mitt romney to move on and stop having conference calls? >> that's up to him. mitt romney is a friend of mine. i understand he's very upset about having lost the disappointment. >> it's not helpful. >> of course not but he's a good man but he'll find his level. and i think it's still a little raw. so do i wish he hadn't said those things? of course not. on the other hand i won't bury the guy for it. >> it's interesting, i want to
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go back to joy on this. this is sheer human nature. i thought and i like to think i'm fair about this, i thought romney walked off the stage election night as a noble figure in politics. however the campaign had gone in some very bad directions, i believe he ended it in the right direction with nobility and class. he came out there alone. didn't cry on anybody's shoulders. didn't surround himself with family. took the loss, said he had a good running mate, great campaign team and praying for the president. maybe that was shock. he was still, you know, but a week or so out there later he's saying not terrible, we're buying votes and selling votes but making himself look like a jester. >> sneering at the public that refused to take the opportunity to make them their president. i think you're right, chris, a lot of times politicians show who they really are and show their character in loss.
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in defeat. almost more than they do in victory. if you recall, yes we can was a concession speech and that was the time when barack obama soared when he lost to hillary clinton in new hampshire. sometimes you show more of who you are in loss. >> i got to go. thank you. you guys are great. coming up. general david petraeus has probably gotten more ink than president barack obama. he testified on what happened whether susan rice was given the facts. we'll talk to a member of the house intelligence committee who was in that room when petraeus spoke in that closed door hearing. the fiscal cliff. how much room will the interest groups give the president to make a deal. they met with the president today and told them where they stand. we'll hear from 2005 them. guess who showed up at parks and recreation last night on the show. >> on behalf of the president and myself -- >> mr. vice president i'm deeply flattered but no way i could
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take over madam secretary clinton's position. >> joe biden goes hollywood. can obama's second term be a true reach for greatness? this is "hardball", the place for politics. s could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
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welcome back to "hardball." david petraeus has been headline news all week and for all the wrong reasons. his extramarital affair with his biographer paula broadwell. today he was on capitol hill talking about a less prurient but more consequential matter, the attack on americans on benghazi. arriving through a secret entrance this morning, the former cia director made his way to the hill for closed meetings with the house and the senate intelligence committees to testify about that september 11th attack, an event he said and always believed was an act of terrorism. democratic congressman adam schiff from california sits on the intelligence committee and was in the hearing room this
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morning. congressman, this is so sensitive. is it true or not true that the united nations ambassador susan rice was given the correct known information about what happened in benghazi when she went on those five television shows on sunday a few days after the attack? was she given the accurate, up-to-date information on what happened, that it was a terrorist attack? >> she was given the best assessment the intelligence committee had at the time. i asked general petraeus, were the talking points we were given their best intelligence assessment at the time and they were given that late in the day on saturday, late in the afternoon, and he said, yes. these are -- this was the best assessment they could do without disclosing classified information -- >> whoa, whoa, stop right there. he also said according to what i heard in the testimony today that he always believed there was a terrorist attack. >> yes, he did. >> how can that be both true?
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if he gave her the honest testimony to give to the television programs that sunday after the attack, which was a terrorist attack, then she never got told that. he knew it and didn't tell her. >> well, no, you know, i think what the general was saying that when he first briefed the congress he felt, and i think many of us did, you shoot mortars and rpgs at an american diplomatic post, that's an act of diplomatic terror. the question was who committed the acts and how do we find them and bring them to justice. what the intelligence community got wrong, and the general acknowledged that this was wrong, is that they thought initially that this was a protest that was either hijacked or got out of control that certainly terrorists and extremists were involved in, but that it began with a protest. it did not begin with a protest. but the key thing in terms of the ambassador is the ambassador was given, as we were, the best assessment at the time as flawed as that was -- >> i am a clear thinker, let's
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be clear here. did he believe from the very earliest dispatches he got and cables he got on this, did he believe it began as a protest or did he believe it was always a terrorist operation? >> no, he believed that it began as a protest, but he also believed that terrorists and extremists were involved. that's i think consistent with what he said at the time although, you know, at the time he also caveated, as all of the intelligence community did, that these were very initial reports, that they were going to get a lot more information, and that we needed to be concerned -- >> let's try it again. let's try it again. from what i understand today is he said he didn't give her all the information because he wanted to give up some classified so he wouldn't give up our sources over there -- >> chris, first of all, he didn't say he gave her this information. >> well, the cia director signed off on the talking points that she used to go on the tv shows, isn't that right? >> he said he signed off on the talking points that we were given to members of congress.
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he doesn't know what talking points the ambassador was given, but i asked him that to the degree that what she said on those sunday talk shows tracked the talking points that we were given as members of congress, and it tracked almost identically, was she giving the intelligence community's best assessment at the time that did not divulge classified information? his answer was yes. you know, it was clear from his testimony that, number one, they were wrong about the protest. the ic, the intelligence community was wrong. number two, there was never an effort to politicize this -- >> that's a loaded word. let's stay away from loaded words. >> well, chris, this is the allegations that's being made. and so to the degree that -- >> that's interpretative. that's interpretative. i want to get to -- >> sure. >> here is the question. mccain and graham, they're out there pushing the case that she misled the american people, she should not be secretary of state or even considered for nomination because she misled on purpose. is there any evidence that she did? >> absolutely not. absolutely not.
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and, in fact, if ambassador rice departed from what the intelligence community told her and told us was their best assessment, then she's open to legitimate criticism. but she didn't. she took what the intelligence community said, this is our best sense of what happened. >> okay. >> how can you fault her for doing that. >> i think she's clean. my problem is with petraeus. from the day he saw the news reports and what she said on the sunday shows, including "meet the press" from our network, from the day he saw how she categorized it as beginning as a protest and being hijacked by the bad guys with rpgs and heavily armed, from the minute he heard her say that and learned it was not the case, why didn't he correct the record? >> at the time he heard her say that, that is what he thought took place. he did begin -- >> when was he disabused of that? when did he learn the full story? >> i think we -- >> when did he learn it? >> i think he learned the full story in the most graphic way when we got the video evidence, and that was not until well after she appeared on those
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sunday talk shows. now, the legitimate questions about why didn't we get that evidence sooner -- >> why didn't he give it to us? >> why didn't the general give it to us? >> he knew the country was misled perhaps by accident, i'll take that, by the secretary -- ambassador to the u.n. we were misled. we were all believing what she said. we all thought this -- >> hold on a second, hold on a second here. when you say misled, that is a politicized term. there was nothing deliberate about this. unless you believe that general petraeus and the deputy director, now acting director morell, and the dni director were in on some conspiracy, they were doing their job. and, yes, they got it wrong. >> you're missing the point. i'm dealing with the news here as we get it. i don't like rolling disclosure. at some point he got the full story. why didn't he come forward -- why did he have to be dragged into that hearing room today and put before both committees to get the truth? why are we only getting the clarification today? why didn't he as cia director go to the president, the public ought to know what happened.
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why didn't he do that? >> the intelligence community put forward the assessments that gave us a clear assessment and debunked the idea there was a protest. you can accuse them of being too slow to do that, and we have asked them exactly these questions why it took so long to get to the truth and get a more accurate picture. they need to put this forward to us in a way that doesn't divulge classified information. but i don't think there's any evidence, i certainly haven't seen any evidence, that general petraeus or any of the other intelligence community were trying to mislead anyone. they are professional. they were trying to do their job, and we can fault them for getting the initial assessment wrong, but i don't think we can ascribe any kind of malice or intent to deceive. >> when your pants are on fire, someone should tell you your pants are on fire. you shouldn't have to ask are my pants on fire? that's my view. i'm going to try to get more information. congressman adam schiff from california, thank you for your straight story.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." first up, fans of nbc's "parks and recreation" know that amy poehler's character, her name is leslie knope, has interesting criteria for her ideal man. quote, she wants the brains of george clooney and the body of joe biden. well, in last night's episode she got part of that equation. take a look. >> you must be leslie knope. welcome. welcome. >> my name just came out of your mouth. >> well, yeah, it did. i'm delighted to have you here. on behalf of the president and myself i want -- >> mr. vice president, i am deeply flattered, but there's no way i could take over madam secretary clinton's position.
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>> i'm confident you could do that job or any other, but the reason -- >> okay, i will. >> well, the reason you're here is i'm told you've done such a great job in your town and in the state of indiana, and i just want to say congratulations for your public service. >> i just want to say thank you. you're very handsome. >> you're very nice but -- >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. we'll see you tomorrow. >> well -- you will? >> you don't let anything happen to him. do you understand me? he's precious cargo. >> wow. biden's cameo is from last summer. it might have needed a little tweaking if the election turned out differently. what's the main thing that got in the way for mitt romney this past election? let's look at two of the more blunt assessments. first karl rove, he thought the drawn out primary process and the debates worked against mitt romney in the general election or in his words from a speech in pennsylvania, mitt romney had what i scientifically call a butt ugly primary. good for you, karl. the election didn't exactly end well for rove either having to answer to all the people who donated to his super pac in the
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hopes of a romney victory. then glen bolger who gave this blunt diagnosis for the loss at the republican governors association conference yesterday. >> what we need to do, one, is we need to convert and get more republicans because if we're going to win independents and get republicans and still lose an election, it's because there's too many damn democrats out there. >> too many, quote, damn democrats, that's one way of summing up the arithmetic. david letterman also weighed in with some potential scapegoats on his top ten list. >> number nine, properly functioning voting machines. number six, congressman todd akin's biology teacher. number four, this guy right here. that guy. there's paul ryan. number three, fact checkers. i don't get this one either. number two, the republican party for nominating him. ouch! oh!
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Hardball Weekend
MSNBC November 17, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PST

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 4, Obama 3, Clinton 3, Warfarin 3, California 2, Benghazi 2, Cia 2, Barack Obama 2, Susan Rice 2, John Mccain 2, Joe Biden 2, David Petraeus 2, Campbell 2, Bob 2, Leslie Knope 2, Mccain 2, Adam Schiff 2, Karl 1, Mexico 1, Nominating 1
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